About 15 years ago, I saw the engagement announcement in the newspaper of a young man who had been a friend of Gunny’s in grade school.
Several months later, I happened to run into the young man’s mother. I asked her about her son’s upcoming marriage, and she said, in fact, it had taken place just a couple weeks before.
I asked her how it went.
She said it had gone great, except for one minor incident, and giggled. And then she told me the following story:
At the beginning of the wedding, as soon as the families were seated, before the groom and his attendants came out, and before the bridal procession, she and the mother of the bride were supposed to go up to the altar and each light a single candle taper, and then return to their seats. These would then be used during the ceremony by the bride and groom to light together the unity candle, to symbolize the joining of their two lives.
But, surprisingly there was going to be a “uniting” of their two families sooner than expected!
It was a formal wedding and everyone was dressed “to the nines.” The groom’s mother was wearing a long beaded gown. The bride’s mother was also elegantly dressed — in a lace gown. (Can you see where this is going?)
After the two mothers had gone to the altar to light their candles, they turned around to go back to their seats. But, spontaneously, they turned to each other and hugged. And, when they stopped hugging . . . . they were stuck together!
The beads on the bodice of one gown had hooked into the loops of the lace on the bodice of the other gown, and the two mothers, to their great surprise, were “united” by the bodices of their dresses there at the beginning of their childrens’ wedding, in front of the filled church!
At first, they worked quietly to “uphook” themselves as inconspicuously as possible, but the longer they worked, the harder it was not to giggle at the ridiculousness of the situation.
The pastor, who had been waiting “off stage,” when he saw their dilemma, came out and quietly asked if he could help. No, they were sure it would just take a minute to disconnect themselves. So, he exited again.
But, try as they might, they COULD NOT get that loopy lace to let go of those pesky pearls. The congregation was all abuzz by now, and there were chuckles beginning to be heard.
Luckily, the pastor hadn’t just gone off stage and assumed they could handle the problem. He had realized, before the mothers’ themselves did, that they were probably going to need help. So he returned, this time with a pair of scissors! With their gladly given permission, he cut them apart in short order, and they returned, relieved, to their seats, to applause from the congregation.
She said, after that, the rest of the wedding was beautiful and elegant, and went off without a hitch.
But, of course, any time someone talked to one of the mothers for the rest of the evening, I’m sure it must have been hard NOT to let their eyes glance briefly at the slightly mangled bodice of their dress!
There’s no doubt in my mind that, even 15 years later, when that wedding is discussed, the first memory that comes up is very likely the unexpected “connection” of the families, even before the marriage.